BY DAVID FISHER
The high point of the Feb. 14 Greenfield City Board meeting was the appointment of Danny Smith as the city’s new police chief.
Police Chief Appointed
Greenfield Mayor Cindy McAdams called Assistant Police Chief Danny Smith to the podium and addressed the board saying, “I would like to appoint Danny Smith as our next Police Chief.”
After hearing the announcement, the audience responded with a resounding applause, indicating their approval.
The board approved Smith’s appointment by a vote of 6-0.
“You’re looking at our next Police Chief,” McAdams said. “We’re glad to have you on board. Danny and I have sat down and talked, and I know he’s going to do a great job. He’s great for our community. He’s always lived here, and he wants to serve to the best of his ability. So, you know who to call now.”
Smith responded by saying, “I’ve worked for the city over 30 years. Twenty-nine years ago, to this day, was my first day as a police officer in this city, and now, I’m Chief of Police, so thank you all.”
McAdams said, “I’m glad your family is here, and I know they’re proud of you.”
In department reports, Fire Chief Bob Dudley said, “We were awarded $65,385 from the Governor’s Special Fund of the Fire Marshal’s Office for firefighting equipment. “We received 19 sets of turnout gear outfitting them from head to toe. He stated this is the first time Greenfield Fire Department has been able to purchase all of the turnout gear at one time, due to the expense.
Dudley noted it was a 100 percent grant, and will cost the city nothing.
According to Dudley, there are three vendors that will be submitting bids on the turnout gear, with the bids being opened the 21of this month. Dudley asked the board’s permission to allow him and City Recorder Jerica Spikes to accept the lowest bid that meets all bid specifications. He explained this needs to be done as soon as possible, because prices will increase 10 percent on March 1. If will be five months before the new gear will be delivered.
Additionally, Dudley stated he is going to hire two new firefighters, and will have enough money in the budget to purchase turnout gear for them.
The board voted unanimously to approve Dudley’s request.
On the advice of City Attorney Beau Pemberton, the board also agreed to sell the old turnout gear to Greenfield firefighters at the fair market value of $100 per outfit, once the new gear is delivered and in service.
Additionally, Dudley requested permission to purchase new fans used to provide fresh air and remove smoke from inside structures. He mentioned the fans currently in use are between 20 and 33 years old, 2-stroke Honda and Tecumseh engines. “We want to replace them with battery-powered fans.” He stated the cost to replace the fans would amount to $14,400. “We have $10,000 left in our AFG line item, and $4,500 in the rural fire fund we could put together to buy those fans.
It will be four months before the fans could be delivered. Since the cost of the fans is increasing 6-8 percent March 1. He noted three of the surplus fans would be sold to other fire departments.
The board approved Dudley’s request by unanimous vote.
Public Works Director Robert Rodriguez reported the state called in reference to the inspection of the city’s 100,000 gallon clear-well.
“They want us to drain it, clean it, and inspect it really good,” Rodriguez said. He noted, in order to do that, a bypass and chemical lines must be installed. The bids have already been let out for the job and the cost will be between $13,000 and $15,000. However Rodriguez explained the money needed for the project is available in the repair and maintenance line item in his department’s budget. The board approved accepting the lowest bid for the job.
“When that’s done, we have to rehab it,” Rodriguez said. “They have to go in and see what the damage is so we’ll know how much it will cost for the rehab. The state wants that done as soon as possible.” He reported the city has only received one application concerning the rehab job, thus far.
Rodriguez stated the five steel culverts ordered in December have been delivered and three are already installed, leaving two more to be installed as time allows.
The new culverts are needed because the old storm drains on McKenzie Hwy 124 were crushed after being run over by heavy trucks and farming equipment.
“I think they’re going to work really well, and nothing will smash them,” Rodriguez said. “The manufacturer states the new storm-drains can handle the weight of any tractor.”
Parks and Recreation Director Chris Fulcher said, “Our Pee Wee Basketball Program is up and going.” He stated this is the first time the program has been active since COVID hit. “There’s been a great turnout. I appreciate all of the parents and grandparents coming out to support the kids.”
He reported 21 youngsters in grades K-2nd and 20 more in grades 3-5th have signed up, with two teams for each group.
“Baseball and softball signups are up and going. They started on Feb. 6 and they will run through Feb. 28,” Fulcher said. He added practices should start the first week of March. The cost to sponsor a child is $40.
Fulcher stated there are going to be new sponsorships signs placed at the park. He explained he plans on taking the old sponsorship signs off of the fences at the ballpark and replacing them with signs listing current sponsors. He will be contacting sponsors soon concerning purchasing new signs.
Anyone wanting to sponsor a sign should contact City Hall. Once the new signs are installed, there will be a yearly sponsorship fee.
Fulcher stated he needs a portable building to store a new machine that was purchased last year. The quotes he has received for a 10×12 ft. building with a roll-up door on one end and regular door on the other are $5,185 and $5,450. Both bids include delivery fees.
Fulcher said the money needed for the purchase is in the budget (in the fundraising fund) and asked permission to spend it. The board voted unanimously to authorize Fulcher to use his discretion choosing the most suitable building and to spend up to $5,500, and any money left over would be appropriated back into the fund. The board voted to amend the budget in order to move the money for the storage building into the General Fund to be disbursed.
Greenfield Seniors Center Director Marilyn Pugh said that the sign is missing that goes up in front of the old city hall, and asked if anyone sees it, to let someone know. It was suggested that the sign may have been blown away by recent strong winds.
Additionally, Pugh encouraged area seniors to begin participating in activities at the facility. She reported the seniors this month had a potluck luncheon, water-coloring, Rook, bingo, ate with Sharon seniors last week, and are exercising two times a week.
Pemberton reported the 2020 delinquent taxes will be filed in April with the sales in October.
McAdams stated Greenfield Police Clerk Tabi Essary will begin working part-time starting March 1. Essary will be working Monday and Friday, for a total of 16 hours per week.
Former alderman Frank Gibson came forward regarding the Senior Citizens Center and stated, “The senior citizens would like to thank the city for renovating the men’s room down at the park.
“We assume it’s not done yet, and when it gets completed, it will be handicapped compliant,” Gibson said. “The thing that we don’t understand is why it’s being paid for out of United Way funds?”
Gibson went on to say that United Way money was donated to the seniors as discretionary income, and there is a list of things it can be used for. “Improvements to the city park, to the building, and paying monthly utility bills and so forth are not on that list, so is there a reason that that money is paying for that?”
“Yes sir, I decided that,” McAdams said. “I talked to Jerica about it.”
“And the reason is?” Gibson asked.
“The money was there,” McAdams replied.
“The money was there, but that isn’t what the money could be used for,” Gibson said.
McAdams stated the funds could be used for building improvements. “We checked into all of that before we did it.”
Gibson said, “I don’t agree with you. I am a member of the United Way Board, and have been for 34 years in funds distribution. You and I sat in when that money was allocated with the funds distribution committee and after we had that meeting and told them what we wanted to use the money for, we documented it, and that email has gone out to all of the board members and it’s gone to you several times, every time we have this discussion.”
McAdams denied having any knowledge of the email.
City Attorney Beau Pemberton said, “The most prudent thing to do is to set up a time for you and the mayor and Jerica Spikes our city recorder, to sit down and review what the policy says, and if the mayor has that ability, then we can go back and everyone can take a look at the records and make sure we’re getting a clear answer. I was not a part of this discussion, but I think in the interest of all concerned that would be the best approach. Just sit down and look at the guidelines and see what the policy says.”
“We’ll set up a time and we’ll be glad to meet with you,” McAdams told Gibson.
Sales Tax Revenues
Mayor McAdams reported local sales tax collections for January were $34,936.34, which is an increase of $3,390.95 from the previous month.
During the same period, state sales tax revenue totaled $19,889.43, and was down by $144.68 from the previous month.
Total local and state sales tax collections combined amount to $54,825.77.
Budget meetings for the 2023-2024 fiscal year will start Thursday, March 16 from 4:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. “Our directors will tell us how much money they need and how they’re going to spend it,” McAdams said.
The mayor announced there will be an Easter Egg Hunt at the park from 10 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 7.
The next board meeting will be Tuesday, March 14 at City Hall.